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Can We Normalize Seeing Large Women In Starring Roles?

Back in the late 90s the world was all about Camryn Manheim, a plus sized actress who has starred in shows like Law and Order, The Practice and Ally McBeal. There was a huge emphasis on the fact that in one of her shows (I can’t remember which one), that not only was she big, but she was also beautiful. For a short period of time, people actually considered her sexy.

And then that went away and we started going back to ignoring plus sized women and frankly I am just over it. Even in my own writing, the character images that I’ve chosen for the characters that I’ve written are all slender women of mixed race. I feel like I am following the unspoken rule of Hollywood “they can be Black, they can be big, but they can’t be big and Black”, which is why at least one of my male characters is based on an image of a plus sized Black man. I intend to include more of these images into my writing.

Yesterday someone sent me a tweet telling me that they wanted to fuck me and that I’ve grown fat (ew), yes I have gained weight. I gained weight because a year and a half ago they put me on a medication that had a huge weight gain side effect, and they didn’t tell me. Prior to that I had lost about a hundred pounds.

Here’s the thing, I like my body, it’s comfortable, it’s fluffy, and even if men don’t like my curves, I kind of do. I feel like a Creole auntie, and I am comfortable in my skin, what I am uncomfortable about however, is the fact that other people are seemingly uncomfortable about my body.

It is absolutely normal to comment on other people’s body, to think that your opinion on my weight matters, but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t. I know perfectly well that I am not as healthy as I should be. I eat too much junk, I smoke way too much weed and way too many cigarettes, I don’t walk enough as I should, and I absolutely do not drink as much water as I should.

However, mother fucker, I am comfortable in my body. I am absolutely comfortable in my body, and it took me a really long time to get here.

I can always lose weight, I know that I can do the work to ensure that I am going to be healthy in the future, but those of you who will decide to comment on my weight? They’re always going to be assholes.

I am watching Bones, and I am watching it because I love the writing, and I love the storylines, but I also like the way that it’s filmed. I like that the main character placed by Emily Deschanel. I love the fact that they don’t shy away from showing the fact that she didn’t spend the entire series being a size two. I love the fact that they honor the fact that in the show, Bones has had two kids, and her body size has fluctuated. That may seem like a small thing to many, but to larger sized women like myself, it’s huge.

The problem of fatness is not actually a problem, until someone who isn’t fat decides that they don’t want to address it. I’m not talking about the issues that come with being overweight, I am talking about the issue of being overweight in the eyes of people who don’t think you should be.

I am also not saying that everyone should go out and get fat to feel comfortable in their skin, but what I am saying is that I DO feel comfortable in my fat skin, so why does it bother you so much?

I think what irritates people the most is the fact that I DON’T worry about what other people think about my body. I never really have. I have always fluctuated in my weight, and it’s been a life long process of starting to understand that I am who I am, regardless of my body size.

I am happy with myself today. And one day, probably sooner than later, I am going to decide that I would like to lose some of the excess weight, because honestly it does cause problems. I have back issues, and I am tired all the time, and I would like to be healthier and stronger, but where I am right now? Should absolutely be celebrated.

After everything we’ve been through, after all the abuses and traumas, after all the bullshit and drama, I deserve to like myself as I am for a little while. Don’t you agree?

Sending all my love to the fat beauties out there,

Devon J Hall

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